History lesson! Gaming graphics have evolved over the last 30 years through 8 generations of gaming. Here they are:
First Generation 1972-76:
The Magnavox Odyssey was the first cartridge-based console. Games were primarily centered on a bat-and-ball style of play. Pong (1975) and Fun Zoo (1972).
Second Generation 1976-83:
Different colours appeared on gaming screens at long last, along with more detailed controls and sound effects. Pitfall! (1982) and Armor Battle (1979).
Third Generation 1983-87:
The Nintendo Entertainment System had been launched in 1983 and the 8-bit revolution was an immediate hit, offering vivid colours and pseudo-3D visuals. Space Harrier (1985).
Fourth Generation 1987-93:
The 16-bit era of gaming brought improvements to every department: bigger environments, brighter colours and faster action. For the first time, home consoles began catching up on arcade machines. Street Fighter II (1991).
Fifth Generation 1993-98:
With the runway success of the PlayStation, CDs were introduced as games media, offering more storage than cartridges. The new technology allowed fully explorable 3D environments, though the cartridge based N64 still competed. Tomb Raider (1996).
Sixth Generation 1998-2005:
The generation began with the arrival of the SEGA Dreamcast, but is better remembered for the Xbox’s debut and Sony’s PS2. TimeSplitters (2000).
Seventh Generation 2005-12:
Widescreen resolutions and open-world environments became available, along with real-time lighting effects to make games even more immersive. HD graphics came with the Xbox 360 in 2005, followed by the PS3 in 2006. Uncharted 2 (2009).
Eighth Generation 2012 – present:
The Wii U arrived in 2012. Gaming’s richest epoch is really still around the corner, and its power remains to be seen.
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